Thursday, October 22, 2020
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International Day of World Indigenous People

At the very outset, I on behalf of Nagaland Indigenous people’s Forum (NIPF) and on my behalf extend greetings to every Indigenious people of the world and specially to the “Indigenous people of the North Eastern States of India” on this International Day of World Indigenous People’s which we celebrate on 9th August every calendar year throughout the world. NIPF as a member of NEIPF could not origanize any function this year due to the pandemic and hence these brief highlights about the celebration of the event of world indigenous people on this occasion.
On the 23rd December 1994 the United Nation General Assembly by resolution 49/214 decided that the International Day of World Indigenous people shall be observed on 9th August every year. Since then this day is celerbated on 9th august every year to honor the past, present and future of the native people throughout he world. It is not a commemoration of the day but in order to live up to the tradition of the indigenous people from different parts of the world by organizing various functions and exhibition of the history of the indigenous people which is shown to the masses for awareness of the young generation to maintain and practice the culture and tradition of the ancestral. There are nearly 500 million indigenous people living in all regiona of the world by occupying around 22% of the land with diversified culture and with about 700 languages. Indigenous refers to the ethnic culture tha has origniated from its homeland and does not include settler population from different lands. Indigenious communities are the people and nations who have historical community of pre-invasion on their territory by outsiders. Indigenous people resides distinct from other sections and society in their land.
The settlers of the North Eatern States of India are predominantly indigenous people who have their own ethnic culture, tradition and language with variety of colorful traditional attires. The indigenous people continue to use implements which were used by the forefathers and some continue to construct their homes in their own traditional style which are admirable till date. The ethnic group continue to exemplify simplicity, honesty, hospitable nature and bravery which are traditional instincts.
However, in certain parts of North Eastern States the indigenous people haev out numbered and swayed new settlers from other places taking advantage of their hospitality thereby marginalizing the indigenous people which need to be pondered over if we want uninterrupted peaceful existence in the region. This needs the joint concerted effort of all the NEIPF members.
The World Indigenous People Day is celebrated on 9th of August in all North Eastern States every year by exchanging of cultures of different indigenous people of the region which is very encouraging. However this year due to the pandemic which is presently faced by teh world, the celebration could not b held like other years except those held in some places in low scale. Apart fro mere celebration of the occasion, I would appeal to the various Indigenous people as to how protection and safeguard can be extended to enhance the peaceful livelihood of the indigenous peopel of the North East from being swayed by outsiders. In order to achieve the goal there should be a high power committee body representing all the states to study and implement a poilcy to check atrocities and challenges faced by the indigenous people who are facing racism, genocide, serial rape, torture and threat of extinction from their own birthright place. The committee’s report should be submited to the Government of India for protection of our land, our culture, reservation in govt. jobs since we lack behind other common people and to bring about development to the region.
P. Pius Lotha
Nagaland Indigenous People’s Forum

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